Friday, August 3, 2007
Top of the world, ma!
They came. They Dove. They encountered zero resistance, politically or otherwise. They planted a flag. Now the Russians potentially own a chunk of the Arctic seabed. Empire-building was never so easy!
In case you haven't heard, there's about to be a huge debate about who owns what up there in the polar north. I'd even go so far as to categorize it as a pending political sh*tstorm. There's all sorts of speculation about vast oil deposits under the arctic, and with the continuing melt-off of arctic ice (thank you climate change!) opening more shipping lanes it all makes "the North" a future geopolitical hotbed.
Right now it's the Russians who're being proactive in a bid to acquire rights to shipping lanes, resources and such. However, Canada continues to claim sovereignty over the arctic, and has gone so far as to mock the Russian manouver. You can read more about that here, as Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay seems to be enjoying his new role as official "fun poker" at the Russkies.
Now, as I understand it, international law says the North Pole's waters are part of the "high seas" and thus outside the boundaries of any state jurisdiction. So they're not Canada's, Russia's, Norway's, Denmark's or the U.S. (the five countries that touch upon the arctic).
To my mind, that begs the following question: if arctic water belongs to no one state, but any state can try to claim it with some fool stunt, why doesn't Israel send up some ships, plant the Magen David, open up a floating falafel stand or something and get themselves some new resources?
I'm sure Canada and the U.S. would be happy to support the endeavour. Make it a trilateral agreement. Israel would sell us oil and we could cut our reliance on OPEC.
Then again, maybe that's not such a good idea. It's too cold up there for a Sabra.